Cleaning CDs and DVDs

Category Electronics
Disc media such as CD, DVD, Bluray and video games can easily get dirty, which will cause the disc to skip or not play at all. It is important to clean the discs properly to prevent scratches. This is a page about cleaning CDs and DVDs.
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When I have a dirty CD or DVD, I wait until I am going to wash a load of dishes. Then I hand wash the DVD or CD with my fingers in a sink full of new soapy dishwater that hasn't had any dishes added to it yet. When all of the fingerprints or dirt are off, I dry it on a soft, lint-free towel.

By hawthorndarkmoon from Buffalo, MN

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June 28, 2006

To take care of DVDs and CDs that have been scratched; instead of buying an expensive kit to fix them, put a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and working from the inside of the disc outward, wipe in a straight line (no circles!). Wipe until you have rubbed across all of the scratches. The discs will be good as new!

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By Malinda from Sausalito, CA

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Keeping in mind that CD's should be cleaned as little as possible, if you'd like remove smudges, apply a little rubbing alcohol to a clean white cotton cloth and wipe it ACROSS the CD. Never use a circular motion when rubbing, as this will create scratches.

By Marie from West Dundee, IL

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September 6, 2011

Put a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe the disc clean. Air dry.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 22, 2019

I just bought a PS3 game and around the circle in the middle it's sticky. Is this normal and OK? If not, how do I get it off so it doesn't ruin my system?

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December 23, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

Be very careful as one wrong move can ruin the disk (been there).

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Take a microfiber clothe and very gently (trying NOT to touch the backside of the disk), wipe where you feel the sticky. Hopefully that will work.

If not, see if you can take it to a place that sells games (like we have Game Stop) and have them see what else can be done.

I totally ruined a work disk years ago by putting a liquid cleaner on it. It was a very bad situation.

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December 23, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

If this game is brand new and you just purchased it from a store take it back before attempting to clean it or remove the sticky residue from the disk. Many people think the information is stored on the back of the disk. This is not exactally true. The front label on the disk has the coating on the underside of the label. When the information is written to the disk it is stored on this coating and not on the plastic of the disk.

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Therefore, if you try to clean the top of the disk this could remove part of the label from the disk and destroy the disk. One thing is good the information is written from the outside of the disk towards the inside. You can see where the disk is written on and in this area you can not touch the label at all.

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June 13, 2000

Does anybody have any safe ways to clean CDs?

Thomas from Ft. Collins, CO

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December 1, 20000 found this helpful
Best Answer

1. GENTLY wash CD with weak detergent, from edge to middle (NEVER CIRCULAR!) with soft kitchen or paper towel. 2. Dry from edge to middle with towel. 3. Here's the science bit --- Put a TINY spot of non-fluoride toothpaste (yes really!) on to towel and gently rub from edge to middle again.

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4. Using a clean piece of towel buff in same direction.

The toothpaste helps to gently 'iron' out the scratches.

Da Da. A rejuvenated CD.

Also works well on 'skipping' tracks CD's.

Simple, cheap, effective and a little bit clever don't you think?

Margarete

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March 15, 2007

My 3 year old got into my DVD cabinet when I left him with a baby sitter - the CD's are covered with - well - I am not really sure. Sticky fingerprints, jelly, etc. How do I clean DVD's without damaging the content?

Elizabeth from Romeoville, IL

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March 15, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

My kids are always mucking up their DVD's and video game discs with fingerprints, jelly, playdoh, you name it. We use a product called EZ CD Skip Fixer to polish out scratches with good success.

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But try this first. Take regular dish soap or liquid hand soap, (without any particles or fancy stuff in it) and drizzle directly on the shiny side. Using the tips of your fingers, lightly rub this all over the face of the DVD. Then wash off in warm water. Pat it dry with something relatively lint free. Most of the time, this will fix it. If there are visible scratches, then you can use the skip fixer I recommended above.

The important thing is to avoid scratching the plastic. The data is embedded between the two plastic sides so can put up with some abuse without being unreadable. A dirty DVD player can be "picky" with scratched DVD's so be sure that you use a cleaner before you give up on the player or the disc.

Good luck!

Jess in Portland

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I have two unscratched CDs that will not play. It would be nice to have them back. I am sure that all they need is careful cleaning.

By Anne

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May 7, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try to play the CDs in a different player. The discs may be fine but the player may not be able to read them. Yes, if they are filthy that can be a problem as well but if you have looked for scratches that means you have looked for smudges as well.

You can always clean them like glasses, breathe on them and wipe them in a circular motion with a soft cloth or T-shirt. If you feel they are really bad you can spray a glass cleaner on them and use a soft cloth or T-shirt to wipe them in a circular motion around the center.
Of course you only clean the shiny side with no writing.

If you feel you are going to be cleaning many CDs in the future and want a professional way to clean them visit your local Radio Shack and by a disc cleaner.

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What is the best way to clean old CDs that have minor scratches and a general build up of grime?

Trish from Northern NJ

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By Debbie (Guest Post)
January 29, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

At our house, we use cotton balls and rubbing alcohol. it seems to work just fine and no harm done!

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November 2, 2018

2 days ago my dog urinated on the floor below my Blu-ray player. Now the discs were inside and and it was a 5 disc case. How do I clean it? And will it ruin the discs? So far all I did was wipe it off with a paper towel.

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November 2, 20180 found this helpful

I would use an enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle to clean the disks.

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November 2, 20180 found this helpful

Many recommended to wash with warm soapy water then air dry. You can also use the alcohol wipes for electronics.

Other options: www.thriftyfun.com/Cleaning-Dog-Urine-Off-of-CDs-1.html

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November 2, 20180 found this helpful

You can wipe them down with regular rubbing Isopropyl alcohol. The lowest percentage is better. Use a chamios or something that is non abrasive. Let them air dry.

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November 3, 20180 found this helpful

Wash everything with water. If any smell remains wash everything again with a product like Rid X and water. Keep it moist to allow the good bacteria to break down any remaining urine. Keep it moist for a few days or until the smell is gone. The bacteria can only work when there is moisture. Be sure to treat the floor the same way.

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November 8, 20180 found this helpful

the trick is to clean them without damaging the information on them

i would start with an official disc cleaner and wipe and see how it goes with that

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February 18, 2015

I had my CDs in storage and they got wet. Now some of the paper from the covers is sticking to the CDs. How do I remove the paper that is now stuck to the CDs?

By Paula B

Answers

February 19, 20150 found this helpful

Water will be your safest bet.

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February 19, 20150 found this helpful

Soak in soapy water. Rinse and dry with a very soft cotton cloth.

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I have unscratched CDs that don't work. Maybe it is finger prints. What is the best way to clean them?

By Miss Ann

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November 6, 2017

Removing dried dog urine on your CDs is easy to do. Simply wash them with warm, soapy water and allow to air dry. This is a page about cleaning dog urine off of CDs.

Stack of CDs

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